Tory welfare chief Esther McVey trousered a £17,000 payoff when she resigned from the Cabinet, after only 10 months in the job.
The MP took the £16,876 golden goodbye for resigning as Work and Pensions Secretary over Brexit last November, and at the time the hard Brexiteer claimed she could not look constituents in the eye if she supported Theresa May’s deal.
Now she must face them over her bumper payout which came months after she admitted some Universal Credit claimants would be worse off under her watch.
Esther McVey made the equivalent of £67,505 as welfare chief on top of her MP’s salary, now worth £79,468, and her severance pay was nearly as much as the Tories £20,000 cap on household benefits for an entire year.
It comes despite new figures revealing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) underpaid £1.9 billion of benefits in 2018/19, the highest since records commenced in 2005.
The DWP also overpaid a record £4 billion of benefits due to mistakes or fraud, 4.6 per cent of all benefit spending, the National Audit Office announced.
Auditor General Gareth Davies said he was concerned and warned overpayments were expected to increase even more due to mistakes with people reporting income in Universal Credit, and this is a bit of a kick in the teeth because Esther McVey did nothing in her job, and she lied to the Commons about what she was doing and still succeeded walking away with multiples of the annual benefit for some of our most disadvantaged citizens.
In fact, she shouldn’t have taken a penny, and it’s the latest kick in the teeth for those who support a genuine social security system in this country, and it further questions whether Cabinet ministers who quit should be entitled to anything, after all, it’s their decision to go, they’re not claiming constructive dismissal.
A Cabinet minister getting such a huge pay-out, particularly after quitting of their own accord, is completely unacceptable, and this news is a real setback to the 14 million people, including four million children living in poverty in the United Kingdom as a consequence of brutal cuts to social security, low pay and soaring housing costs.
Esther McVey was given her severance pay which is worth three months wages. DWP minister, pro-EU Sarah Newton, got a more modest £7,920 payoff when she quit in a bid to block a No Deal Brexit in March, and Universal Credit chiefs took home bumper gratuities despite a litany of grievances about the benefit.
Universal Credit then Director General Neil Couling got at least £5,000 while another top Universal Credit director, John Paul Marks, got at least £10,000.
Imperfections in the Universal Credit rollout has driven people into rent arrears, forced them to food banks and even driven them to survival sex, yet the DWP claims that it’s reduced waiting times, increased advances and started run on payments for housing.
In the meantime, auditors have complained the DWP is overpaying Universal Credit by 8.6 per cent, the highest of any benefit, and the National Audit Office has stated that both causes are both intentional fraud and unintended error by claimants and the DWP, but that the largest problem was claimants failing to report their income and earnings correctly under Universal Credit.
The system has been hit by reiterated criticisms that it’s confusing to use, and following 2010 there’s been no rise in the percentage of fraud or error overall.
Esther McVey was knocked out of the Tory leadership race in last place earlier this month with only nine MPs’ support, and she was Employment Minister under welfare-slashing Tory Iain Duncan Smith before losing her seat in 2015.
The MP was vilified for supporting the unpopular Bedroom Tax and then returned as Work and Pensions Secretary in January 2018 having won George Osborne’s safe seat of Tatton, and as welfare chief, she acknowledged that some people would be worse off under the six in one benefit Universal Credit.
She recently acknowledged her failings in the policy but claimed she’d brought more money in and refused to apologise, and yet this despicable woman has the temerity to take this payout.
The most disturbing thing is that we have such a profound opinion and no confidence in any of our MPs because they’re all snouts in the trough and extremely self-serving, but it’s certainly not surprising what any MP pockets when they quit office.
But then respect is earned, and they earn far too much, talk too much and do precious little for the people of the United Kingdom, and I’m hoping that after tax and National Insurance deductions she’ll be making a really charitable contribution to her local food bank.
Isn’t it astonishing, she had a job, but she resigned from it because she was either incompetent or just didn’t like the position that she was in, yet she still got a three month salary and a golden handshake, but meanwhile in the real world people are still struggling with the Tories austerity programme.
After all, it appears that Esther McVey has no talent, no ability and no morality, and I’m actually not surprised that she managed to pocket payments she didn’t deserve, and she really needs to make sure she doesn’t get her snout stuck in the trough, but then not one of them is actually deserving of the money that they get, and most people who quit their jobs, they get doodley-squat, but the elite, the finest cream of the crop ends up getting enormous payouts.